thDuring a business-related trip to Texas last summer, I met up with a blogger who goes by the name “empressjuju” and blogs at (the) Vegas in Austin. Along with her husband we enjoyed a delightful regional brunch (think “breakfast tacos”) and talked about money and life.

Homeownership was definitely on their minds. But months went by and they kept discovering swell new restaurants and activities. Austin can do that to you.

This kind of overspending is insidious, she noted later, and it can feel oddly necessary because we’re all such busy people. In fact, her husband was inclined to think that it wasn’t really a problem.

The empress begged to differ. “How are we ever going to buy a house if we keep spending like this on food? We are eating our house!”


read more

thCohabit in haste, repent in poverty. Or at least in aggravation, according to a recent survey from Rent.com.

“How finances will be divided” is the top issue that survey participants wished they’d talked about before sharing space. What a surprise.

“He/she doesn’t pay enough of our expenses” is a recurring theme in advice columns and, I’d bet, in couples’ counseling offices. If I had one suggestion to anyone planning to move in together, it would be “talk about money – and keep talking.”


read more

thLast year a line leapt out at me from, I believe, an MSN Money article: “Saving is the new sexy.”

I read it out loud to DF. His response: “It’s the old sexy as far as I’m concerned.”

That tickled me so much that I wrote both statements on a piece of scrap paper and taped it to my work station. Sooner or later, I knew, I’d be writing about this.

Finally I am, thanks to a survey from Ally Bank. It found that three out of four people believe it’s important for mates to share a similar financial philosophy. And the most appealing financial habit?


read more

thThe folks at H&R Block recently mailed out a couple of logo items for the 2014 tax season. Naturally I just had to turn mine into a giveaway – adding, of course, a few artistic touches of my own.

There’s a particularly high snafu potential this year due to the Affordable Care Act. Too, there was the customer service misstep by Intuit, which made major changes to the Deluxe version of its popular TurboTax software in a way some customers didn’t like. (H&R Block responded with an offer of a free replacement product; follow the link for details.)

So in advance of any issues you may or may not have, you should enter to win the 2014 Tax Season Survival Kit. It includes:


read more

thBloggers and readers in the Phoenix area: Wanna talk about money, midlife, millennials or ‘most anything else? Hope you can attend a meet-up on Saturday, Feb. 21.

The do will be hosted by me and my daughter, who blogs at I Pick Up Pennies. When I say “hosted,” what I mean is that we’ll be there and we’ll save you some seats.


read more